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Malaghans Road
Arrowtown 9348
New Zealand

(0064) 21 542 983

Tailored, personal and memorable marriage ceremonies in Central Otago and Wellington. My commitment is to work with you to ensure that you have the wedding ceremony that reflects who you are and what is important to you on your special day.

I love to work with couples to create a personal experience.  I love spending whatever time is needed to get the details right for you:  whether it be helping you write the perfect ceremony, putting an antique cloth and a posy of flowers on the table to sign the register or giving you advice on locations and other people to assist you.

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Blog

Filtering by Tag: wedding location

Sometimes it's just the little things ....

Catherine Fyfe

Yes, weddings are about the big things in life: a public commitment, legal recognition of marriage and the start of a new life together.  Then there are the big things to do with the day that need organising:  the ceremony, where to have it, what to serve to eat and drink, live music or recorded music, who can we invite given the numbers we're looking to achieve, the flowers, who is in the bridal party and what will they wear and, yes, what will the dress be?

Sometimes it is cold for the guests waiting outside!

Sometimes it is cold for the guests waiting outside!

Sometimes really hot

Sometimes really hot

But, amid all these big decisions, sometimes it is just the little things that will make a day really special in the memory of everyone there.  They don't need to be expensive:  a pile of cheap sunhats or rugs for the guests if the ceremony is outside; maybe a couple of tubes of sun-block because you can be sure most of the guests won't have remembered to put it on; some drawing things and games for the children to entertain them whilst the adults are having drinks and during the reception; a handwritten note to the guests to welcome them in their rooms if you are having a destination wedding or they have travelled to join you; maybe even a note from you on the seats to welcome them at the start of the ceremony; table names themed to places special to you both; a quiz on you both for a little light entertainment - and competition; perhaps a special piece of family jewellery that you wear to remember someone by; the handkerchief your mother or grandmother carried on their wedding day; a candle lit at the ceremony to remember loved ones no longer present; a grandparent reading something that was read at their own wedding; wearing the family veil; having your favourite childhood flowers in your bouquet, having a collection of family wedding photos around the cake ...... the list is endless.

Remembering those no longer here 

Remembering those no longer here 

Family wedding photos around a stunning cake made with much love by a mother ...

Family wedding photos around a stunning cake made with much love by a mother ...

 

For me, if was about wearing my Grandmother's pearls and my wonderful florist, who knew me well, had tucked, as a surprise for me, a little bunch of violets into the top of my bouquet.  My favourite perfume and flowers ..... just where only I could see and smell them.  It was a wonderful surprise and I was stunned she'd remembered a casual conversation from so many years ago.

Violets .... a favourite to pop into the top of a bouquet.  

Violets .... a favourite to pop into the top of a bouquet.  

For a special girl in my life, for whom I'm "fairy god-mother", I had the amazing experience of being invited to go dress shopping with her and her mother, my "big sister".  Even better, it was in New York and we went to some amazing stores and designers.  At the last appointment on the  second day, having not yet found "the one", we were wondering if the dress would be here: and it was. Two in a row that were so different from the original concept but stunning.  Which to chose?  Either was stunning.  So I said to Vanessa that, whichever she selected finally, I'd make sure she had the other one there too - not as a dress, but as a bag!  So, I set to and interpreted the gorgeous "runner-up" design into a little bag for the bride to have to carry a special family handkerchief, a little makeup and lipstick.  I sewed into it a piece of heirloom lace (something old) and, on the inside, for something blue, I embroidered a fan design.  It proved to be fun, useful and a special "little thing".  

Vanessa's bag exterior.jpg

Made for our girl with love ... a mini replica in bag form of another loved design.

Something old .... the lace.  Something new .... the bag itself.  Something borrow ... the gorgeous handkerchief that went into it.  Something borrowed ... the blue fan design.  

Something old .... the lace.  Something new .... the bag itself.  Something borrow ... the gorgeous handkerchief that went into it.  Something borrowed ... the blue fan design.  

A table to write on, a mat to stand on ...

Catherine Fyfe

Today, some more essential tips for an outdoor wedding

Even if the wedding is outside, a table and chair are essential.  It isn’t easy to complete the documentation standing up!

I like to create a special table for the formalities.  Sometimes that means taking the table and a chair I provide to an unusual location!  We’ve had it by the lakefront, in a garden, up a mountain, by a pond and in a ruin in recent weeks! 

I also like to bring a mat with me to some locations.  Sometimes the ground underfoot is a bit damp or soft.  For a bride in high heels or in a light coloured dress, a mat of a colour that disappears into the background is a great option.  Easy to stand on and the dampness or mud doesn’t absorb up the fabric! 

Be flexible ….. the best laid plans might need to change quickly!

Today, thinking about an outdoor wedding

Julia Macfarlane

An outdoor wedding in Queenstown, Wellington or somewhere else?  Is this your dream?  

In July of 2015, Jerry and Kristie came from Queensland to marry in the garden of a home they rented out in the country.  They had a gorgeous archway created for the ceremony and it framed the backdrop of the mountains.  It was certainly a bit chilly – well, actually it was 2 degrees!  Orlando accompanied his Mum down the aisle and we had created together a ceremony that bought these three special people formally together.  It was an intimate and magical ceremony and I felt really privileged to marry them.

Things to think about when planning a ceremony outdoors:

Have a “Plan B”.  It doesn’t matter where you plan to marry and in what season, the weather won’t always co-operate.  So, an inside option that you can make the decision to move to quickly is absolutely essential.  Your reception venue might be a good alternative or an inside building at the outdoor venue.  That might be an old farm building or a building at a vineyard.  Regardless, you need to have the details for your “Plan B” as well organized as your first choice as seating, sound equipment, floral arrangements and lighting may to be shifted.

You’ll also have to have an easy to implement system of letting people know that the venue has changed.  A sudden and unanticipated weather event could mean you only have a short time to let people know.  Have phone numbers and email addresses all organised in advance and a “telephone tree” system.  You might not have time to ring everyone yourself!


It is hard to beat the scenery of Central Otago.  But what looks gorgeous in a photo can also be colder than you can imagine!  In winter (and spring and autumn!) a really warm jacket is essential, at least for before and after the ceremony.  Have gloves at the ready too.  Rose and Evan came to Queenstown in late 2014 from Northern Queensland and we celebrated their wedding on Coronet Peak.  Rose looked stunning in a long gown with a gorgeous warm, fur-trimmed jacket.  It was warm enough for Rose to take her jacket off for some photos but she would have looked equally stunning with her jacket throughout.  Because they wanted some photos up on the ski-field, Evan was in ski gear and Rose cleverly whipped on ski-pants and boots under her dress.  Their photographer Holly Wallace took an award-winning photo up on the mountain.  For guests, let them know what the temperature might be and also the dress code so that they can plan well in advance.  Appropriate footwear is also essential for your guest.  Ladies, balancing in high-heals in the snow or tussocks isn’t easy!

When you’re designing your ceremony, also think of seating requirements.  Whilst many of your guests will be happy to stand, some may be grateful for seating.  You need not provide it for everyone: just those who will really appreciate some seating.

Inside, Outside, Up a Mountain, by the Lake ….

Julia Macfarlane

Thinking about a destination wedding in Queenstown? Today there are so many potential locations for your marriage ceremony.  Chose a place that has meaning for you and will work well for the type of ceremony you want. 

Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

Many prefer an outdoor setting today; sometimes a family garden.  For some a church with long family associations will be that special place.  For others, a “destination” wedding is top of the list.  Here in Queenstown, that wedding ceremony location might be by the lake, in a garden with our spectacular mountains as the background, in a gorgeous hotel setting or on top of a mountain.

Over the last couple of months I’ve had the privilege of marrying couples in a range of locations.  Over the next few posts I’ll reflect on a few key things to think about in deciding on the type of venue for your special day.